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Kenyan Runners To Defend Titles At New York City Marathon - 2003-11-01

Kenyan runners Rodgers Rop and Joyce Chepchumba will defend their titles Sunday at the New York City Marathon.

Rodgers crossed the finish line first last year, clocking 2:08:07. His victory in New York followed another triumph earlier in the year at the Boston Marathon.

Meanwhile, Joyce Chepchumba was crowned the New York City Marathon women's champion in 2002, with a winning time of 2:25:56. Chepchumba will be challenged this year by another Kenyan, Catherine Ndereba, who decided to run in New York after winning the world championship in Paris in August. Catherine is a former world record holder in the women's marathon, and if she wins Sunday, she would join Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway as the only women to win the New York, Boston and Chicago marathons. Ndereba won Boston and Chicago in 2000 and 2001.

The forecast is for warm weather on race day. About 34,000 runners are expected to participate in the New York City Marathon. Both the men's and women's winners will receive $100,000 and a new Smart automobile.